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Bryan Park Cycling Series

June 29, 2004

Central Virginia cyclists represented the area well during Saturday's Virginia State Criterium Championships in Norfolk's Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek. The 8^th annual Amphibious Assault Criterium was the official District 42 (Virginia and Washington D.C.) criterium championship.

In the premier race, Glen Allen's Rob Suydam, riding for Virginia Beach Velo, edged second place Richmond Ciclismo's John Schindler and third place Leigh Carter of SP Imports / Palani Drive to win the top honors for the category 2 cyclists. Suydam, Schindler and Carter placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively, overall in the race that also included the nation's highest, category 1, level.

Fifteen-year-old Mark Saunders of Richmond Ciclismo won the junior race (under 18) and J.R. Miller of Conte's / Cycor placed third.

Soon after riding the category 1 and 2 race, John Schindler recovered to win the 30+ race.

In the day's 50+ race, Contes / Cycor's Dennis Raineer placed second.

Also, Contes / Cycor's Emily Helmboldt won the women's combined category 1, 2 and 3 race.

Schindler described the category 1 and 2 race as one of the hardest races he raced all year. Virginia Beach Velo initiated a breakaway with about 18 laps to go. Schindler caught up to the six-man break that had Suydam and two of his teammates.

"The Virginia Beach Velo guys had the most positive race that I've seen in a long time," Schindler said. "It was a really strong piece of teamwork."

Suydam's team forced the others to overwork by having a rider solo to the front. The rest of the break would have to chase the solo effort or settle for a chance for second place. Once the pack caught the solo, Virginia Beach Velo would launch another rider to the front.

"It was counter-attack after counter-attack after counter-attack," Carter said.

Twice, Schindler dropped from the break and twice, he time-trialed back.

"We worked very well together, trying to bust things up, and weaken the other riders," Suydam said. He added later, "So the Richmond guys cleaned up the cat. 2s."

With five laps to go, Carter chased Suydam's solo effort. Once Carter caught Suydam, the rest of Suydam's team hammered away at the last erg of energy the rest of the breakaway might have. Virginia Beach Velo's Bill Collins won the overall followed by Arlington's Reed Tanger.

Before Saunders junior race, Schindler, who just finished his race, warned about the parking lot course that looped around a U.S. Navy hovercraft.

"I told him to stay out of the wind. Stay in the top five to 10 guys and try to take advantage of other people's efforts." Schindler said. "And he did exactly that. It was amazing."

"In the last lap, coming into the last turn, he (Saunders) started his sprint a little too early," said Mark Saunders' dad, Mark Saunders Sr. "He was able to keep winding it up and, fortunately, they never caught him.

"I kind of like racing with the adults better," Saunders said of junior racing versus training at Bryan Park. "They kind of handle their bikes better." He's talking about the b-race.

"Well, you can't really tell how much experience a junior cyclist might have," Saunders added.

Schindler said the 30+ had a larger field but it was a smoother race than the category 1 and 2 race.

"I just took the pace up and the break just happened on its own," Schindler said.

The 8-man break worked together until the end. Schindler wound up his sprint from third place and took the win.

Preparing for the team tactics is how local teams use the Bryan Park Cycling series. Cobblestone will sponsor the official Virginia State Road Race Championships to be held in Ashland on July 25.

Schindler got a little revenge from Suydam during Tuesday's Bryan Park Cycling Series. Schindler nipped Suydam at the line for the win. John Pimplett took third. Cobblestone's Bill Mallone took fourth and Ciclismo's Jon Gaudio took fifth.

Unattached rider Tim Mullins, wearing a retro local team uniform, wowed everyone when he bridged to a powerful three-man break of Ciclismo's Matt Forbes, Contes / Cycors' Mark Plourde and Leigh Carter. Mullins pulled SP Imports / Palani Drives' Jeff Hackett to the break as a witness.

But the newly formed five-man break couldn't stay away. The pack caught them just before the finish.

In the b-race, Ciclismo's Keck Baker returned to racing after breaking his hand in a mountain biking accident. He won in a solo effort just barely holding off a hard charging Chip Gobles of Cobblestone. Gobles teammate, and lead-out man, Dan King held on for third.

Ciclismo's Joe Notoricola and Stratton Delany, earlier in the race, worked the pack over with solo efforts. With one lap to go, Baker soloed to front with about a 15 second gap. Notoricola and Delany worked to the front to control the rest of the field.


A Race, 25 laps
1 John Schindler (Richmond Ciclismo)
2 Rob Suydam (Virginia Beach Velo )
3 John Pimplett
4 Bill Malone (Team Cobblestone)
5 Jon Gaudio (Richmond Ciclismo)
B Race, 20 laps
1 Keck Baker (Richmond Ciclismo)
2 Chip Goble (Team Cobblestone)
3 Dan King (Team Cobblestone)

Local results 2004